I moved into my parents' home several years ago to help care for my father (retired Army officer) when he became ill. My father passed three years ago, and my mother has now become so disabled that I no longer feel safe leaving her alone for long, so I haven't worked a real job in over a year. I understand that this situation may qualify my mother for assistance in paying for her care -- but I have never actually been PAID as a caregiver for either of my parents. I am "paid" only in the sense that (aside from a part-time job during the first year after my father's death) my parents have provided all my shelter, food, clothing, medical care, transportation, and other needs. Obviously this SHOULD count, but -- does it? And if so, then would my tax return from last year, showing that I had zero income, serve to document that my mother is essentially "paying" me to live with and care for her? I have waited too long to look into this -- we're on the verge of losing the house now, and I have no recourse but to start working a real job again, even though it will compromise my mother's wellbeing. But if I do get an outside job now, how will that affect her application for aid? Does the VA understand that, so to speak, ya gotta do what ya gotta do? Obviously, I'm in trouble here and really need your guidance. Thank you so much for any wisdom you can share.